TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 30: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during MLB action at the Rogers Centre April 30, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers look to further build their lead in the A.L. West when they head to Toronto for a three-game series against the Blue Jays.
The Texas Rangers avoided a sweep against the New York Yankees on Thursday, maintaining their big lead in the AL West, while finally finding their offensive outburst with a 10-6 win in he final tilt of the four-game series. More importantly, it seems that Josh Hamilton is back in good graces once more, going 4-for-8 in the past two games with two home runs, two RBI and five runs scored.
The Rangers hold onto a six-game lead in the West after failing to take control of the top spot in the American League during the series against the Yankees, and will head to Toronto this weekend in the hopes of continuing the momentum built in the big win on Thursday.
RHP Yu Darvish (12-8, 4.54) will face LHP J.A. Happ (1-1, 6:35) on Friday night in the first game of the series. Darvish is looking to become the first Rangers rookie pitcher with 13 wins, despite an inconsistent few weeks following the All-Star break. The rookie is tied for the A.L. lead in walks (79) but looked much more in control during his his last start, a win at home against the Tigers. First pitch is set for 6:07 p.m. CT, with coverage on TXA-21, MLB Network and ESPN Radio.
RHP Ryan Dempster (6-6, 3.12) will take on RHP Carlos Villanueva (6-2, 3.12) on Saturday. Dempster is 1-1 with a 8.31 ERA so far with Texas and is still facing questions over his transition to the American League. Allowing eight runs in two of his three starts for the Rangers, Dempster will face a much friendlier lineup than his last outing in New York. First pitch is set for 12:07 p.m. CT, with coverage on FSSW and ESPN Radio.
LHP Matt Harrison (13-7, 3.24) will take the mound against RHP Henderson Alvarez (7-10, 4.48) on Sunday. Harrison received a loss in his last start despite allowing just one run and five hits in 6.1 innings against the Yankees. The young pitcher has just one win in his past five starts, despite allowing more than four runs just twice in the span. First pitch is set for 12:07 p.m. CT, with coverage on FSSW and ESPN Radio.